- "Everyone had such a lovely time at the wedding and all have commented how
personable you were and what an amazing and unique ceremony it was! We cant
thank you enough Susan! It takes a special type of person to do your job- and
you are definitely that! We couldn't have asked or hoped for anything more! Thank you sooo much!
Lots of love,Jody & Ben Parr-Collins, xxxx "
- " Dear Susan, Thank you for a wonderful ceremony. It was perfect. Thank you for the photos and the certificate :) Best wishes Anne and Tor."
- "Hello,Thank you for yesterday and making it such a beautiful service! Meant so so so much! It was a gorgeous lunch and the place was lovely! Thank you for the photos! They are wonderful.Thanks again! Alice x "
- "Hello susan! Well we havent quite come down from our cloud yet! Thank you for a beautiful ceremony. We had such a wonderful day. Im sorry i didnt see you before you left. Warm regards Mrs Venturi :) "
- "Hi Susan, From the moment i met you and put out my hand to say hello and you said give me a hug, i knew straight away we had chosen the right person to make our special day that little bit more special.You are such a warm, lovely, caring lady and the words you chose for our ceremony were beautiful - we really loved the soul mates poem. I've got the photos you sent they are great,thank you. I hope to meet you again some day and will recomend you to friends and family if in the future they need your services... so from Andy & Tracy thank you very very much ...."
- "Well it's all over, our guests have finally left, it feels like the day after boxing day and time to reflect. I know it didn't run exactly to plan but it made no difference and Sarah and I have had a fantastic wedding.Many of our guests told us that it was the best wedding they have ever been to. I just want to say a huge thank you to you and Robyn for making our special day that much more special.Best regards, Paul & Sarah"
- "Good Morning Susan, Gina & I would like to say many thanks for making our renewal day so very special, Apologies for not feeling so well on the day, it was still brilliant, i could not ask for anything better, you were fantastic, all of our friends and family have all passed on great comments for the way you conducted the ceremony, it was absolutely lovely.We will definitely be recommending you to anyone we can, we cannot thank you enough, next time we are in Benidorm, please join us for a drink and a chat.I have also thanked all of the staff at the Hotel for the way in which they helped to make the day so brilliant, the roof top setting, the music, the restaurant and especially the food were amazing, we are over the moon with joy at how the whole ceremony went.Thank you again and hope to see you soon, Kind Regards, Winn & Gina"
- "We just wanted to say a huge thank you for making our ceremony so special on Friday. It really felt personal and thoughtful and many of our guests commented on how lovely both you and the ceremony were!! We had an amazing time and really just wish we could do it all over again! Wishing you all the best, Marisa and Dan x "
- "I just wanted to say thank u so much for a fantastic ceremony! It was unbelievable ! Steve said u treated us to the tracas , thank you ever so much it made it extra special. We can't stop smiling about our wedding day- I didn't think it could be that good.Thank you. Carrie.xxxx"
- "I got really emotional- it was the best funeral I have been to. My only crticism is that it should have been longer as I enjoyed it so much I wanted more ...Millie Munro- Golden Leaves Funeral Services"
- "Hi Susan, Well we arrived back safely after the long drive home. It's cold and damp - at least no rain or frost yet! We have all been talking about THE day and everyone says how much they enjoyed it - it was fun, emotional and intimate! More than I hoped for. Thank you so much for the help you gave us and for helping to make the day so special. I also really appreciated the photos you sent through - everyone just seems to be laughing all the time. Thanks once again. Take care, Andrea x"
- "I just want to say thank you for everything - the entire day was amazing thanks to you . You are a wonderful person. Everyone that came to our wedding said they had never been to a ceremony as beautiful ever before, thank you . The photos are so beautiful too. Thank you so much. Maxine & Jaime xxx"
- " Hi Sue, Thanks again for such a fantastic day! Stuart flew back to Dubai today - its all gone so fast, All the best, Sara & Stuart "
- "Thank you so much for the photos that have been of great pleasure...the wedding was beautiful and everyone was delighted.
....Thank you for your part in making our wedding ceremony a very special and memorable, emotional occasion. Everyone loved it.
All the best, Heidi and Geert"
- Funeral - " Shirley was my best friend and I know she would have been so pleased with the send off you gave her. It was so lovely, I want to book you for my funeral now. J "
- "Hello Susan, Many thanks for the photos, we had a really wonderful day and everything went just perfect. Thanks again for all of your help and here are some photos for you of the event. B.Rgds Dan and Susan"
- "We would just like to both Thank you for the wonderful job you
did for our ceremony! Everyone has said what a beautiful service it was and how
light hearted and fun it was which is exactly what we both wanted! Thank you
for all your help, and sending us the lovely pictures!
If anyone is looking to get married here we will certainly recommend you!
Take care and Thanks again! Frankie and Mike"
- Funeral- "You did a lovely job for me and I am grateful that you've given me an extra worthwhile memory instead of something artificial and inappropriate. Best Wishes, Gordon."
- "Thank you for your beautiful ceremony, all the photos. I think we were truly blest with the weather! Hopefully speak to you soon. Aislinn and Liam "
- " Hi Sue, Thank you so much for making our wedding day so special, everyone said it was a beautiful service and how much they enjoyed it. I really liked your photos,and it would be a pleasure to be on your website. Thank you very much again, Charlene x."
- "Hi Sue, Just wanted to say a big thanks. The whole day was great. I will send some pics next week. You are a very special lady and it has been wonderful to have you in my life even if for a short time. Take care of yourself. We will drop you a line before we get over next year and you might be able to find time to have a drink with us. Sincere best wishes. Neil ( re Martin & Debbie's ceremony & wedding) "
- "Last of the family went back yesterday so we are taking a breath before going on a much needed honeymoon on Monday. Thank you for the excellent ceremony, the card, and your company. These photos are just great....I have attached a flying gift voucher for you, have a day off and come flying one day soon..... Once again thank you for helping make the day so special. Love Jan & Chris "
- "Hi Sue, Thank you so much for those photos and thank you for everything that you did, you really did make it a dream wedding and i don't think it could have gone any better. Once again thank you for everything and Jamie and I wish you all the success in the future, you deserve a break! Love Terrie x "
- " Hi,Sue! Thanks so much for the pictures. We are in the Amalfi Coast now for our honeymoon. We loved the ceremony .. thanks so much! Not only for the ceremony but all the help during these months.Muchas saludos, Maria."
- "Hi Sue - thank you sooo much! We're over the moon with happiness- the ceremony was just how we wanted it, so thank you very much for your excellent help! Looking forward to checking out your photos- will do it tonight :) Take care, Tale. "
- "Thank you so much, it was a perfect day. The ceremony was beautiful- we don't have anything like that in Sweden. Everyone is still talking about it, and you may see some of our guests here when they want a wedding! Sarah & Erik"
- "Hi Sue, Thank you for the pictures- wonderful- and most of all thank you very much for such a lovely lovely day, one we will treasure for a very long time. All the best to you and thank you once again. Love Shirley and Ian."
- "Hi Sue, Thanks so so much for the gorgeous pictures!! The ceremony was beautiful and we're really grateful that we found you to do it for us, we'd have it no other way :-) We've had the most incredible couple of weeks, ones we'll remember for the rest of our lives, I still haven't come down from the high and your pics make me relive it all over again!! Nada& Jason xxx"
- "Well we've finally returned to reality after the most wonderful wedding celebration. I can't thank you enough for making our special day truly that. Everything was perfect.....the ceremony was absolutely beautiful, the lovely flowers, the most delicious cupcake wedding cake and of course the fantastic food. You really ensured everything went smoothly and took any stress off us, allowing us to fully enjoy the day. I've attached a few of our favourite photos and wanted to thank you for the lovely photos you sent us. Many thanks and best wishes. Barbara, José, Rebeca and Sara xxxx "
- "Great -thanks Sue, it was wonderful to have you as a part of our day. I appreciate all that you did for us in making it such a special day. Also thank you so much for the copy of the ceremony and the card and little gift, very sweet of you. Thanks again Sue you were brilliant. Love Jen & Warren"
- "May I start with a great big kiss and thank you so much. We had a perfect day- everything went so well, right amount of laughter, tears, emotion and only beautiful people. Will be in touch when we get back, Wayne & Derek"
- "We had a lovely day. Thanks for inviting us into your home and thanks again for helping with our special day, more special as we found a friend though it. Lisa & Dyfed x "
- "Thank you so much for an emotional and very personal Funeral for Dad in Javea. The music chosen was so appropriate and the words spoken gave everyone present such an insight into the person my Father was. The flowers were stunning. We are grateful to you for arranging it all for us as it would have been impossible not living in Spain. You made a very distressing day so much easier to cope with. Love Pauline & Brian"
- "...Many of our friends have said it was the best wedding they'd attended and we definitely agree. We would definitely recommend your services to anyone. Thank you for making our day perfect. Love Marie and Steven"
EXTRACT from an article in Feb 2011 issue of FREETHINKER Magazine
- Courtesy of Editor Barry Duke
…..What I hadn’t so far been asked is who does one turn to if one wants someone to conduct a non-religious funeral. This is hardly surprising as people don’t plan on dying, or have friends or relatives snuff it when they are on holiday, or have just moved to Spain.
Had the question arisen last year, I would have been lost for an answer. I am, of course,fully aware of the steps one has to take to organise a secular funeral in the UK where such services are provided in the main by the British Humanist Association, but here on the Costa Blanca …?
Fortunately, I now know that non-religious funerals do take place here, and are growing rapidly in popularity. Unfortunately, it took the sudden death of a
friend on January 2 for me to embark on some research into the subject.
Kenny, 48, and his partner of 15 years Scott came to settle in Benidorm in the same month as I did, and I got to know them well as we had banded together into a small group of fitness enthusiasts who travelled each week to a gym in the neighbouring town of Albir.
Scott conducted some of the training sessions, and Kenny – along with a few friends - would always join in. A non-smoker involved in the private health-care sector, Kenny was great company, and a deeply-caring individual.
So you can imagine what a shock it was to us all when he suffered a devastating stroke on New Year’s Eve and died a day later.
The funeral was conducted at a stunningly beautiful crematorium set on a hillside on the outskirts of Benidorm by a Church of England clergyman.
With all due respect to Scott, and the families of both men, I have to say that the lengthy service was dire – except for the two uplifting tributes paid to Kenny by his brother and a close friend.
Immediately after the funeral, I made it my mission to discover what facilities were
available to anyone wanting to arrange a nonreligious send-off for a relative or friend, and within hours was in contact with Susan Coley, an ex-pat Brit now living in Javea.
Susan, a Humanist who has enjoyed a lengthy career as a public speaker and Wedding Planner, runs a website called Celebrant Costa Blanca (www.celebrantcostablanca.com) and I was delighted to hear from her how great
a demand there is in this part of Spain for secular funerals, as well as for marriages and baby-naming ceremonies.
Ever since gay marriages were legalized in Spain (much to the annoyance of the
Catholic Church) her services have been in great demand among same sex couples.
Of course, it came as no surprise to me that people like Susan are providing secular
services in Spain, given the enormous social changes that have taken place in the country since its hasty retreat from the horrible Franco era it had to endure for so many decades.
It’s just a pity that it took the untimely death of a friend to make me realise that, as in other aspects of life, Spain has joyfully embraced the idea that it can conduct its affairs free from the influence of religion, and that people like Susan are out there demonstrating how wonderfully well funerals can be used to celebrate the life of someone no longer with us.